Another year has gone and we are pleased to share with you some of the things that happened in our SOS Children’s Village Freetown, programmes in the same location and planned activities for the end of the year.
SOS Children's Village Freetown
The SOS Children’s Village, Freetown has at date has 142 children in admission, 68 boys and 74 girls. It continues to be the heartbeat for disadvantaged children especially the orphaned right across the western area of the country. It provides solace, protection, safety and above all stability in the lives of children.
Education in the village continues to take a centre stage with high performance rates by the children. The village scored 100% in the National Primary School Examination (NPSE) with an overall pass percentage of 80 in the annual promotion examination. Two children respectively won awards from the school for academic excellence.
One SOS mother and an aunty were both sent for Training at the SOS Mothers Training Centre in The Gambia as part of capacity building to improve on child care.
The children always look forward to the Easter period. It is celebrated with fun and joy. This year was exceptional; the children were treated to both traditional and local dishes, picnics and outings including flying kites on the beach.
A Child’s Right Exhibition was held in Freetown in July for 3 days. The Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs was Guest of Honour and in his speech stressed on the rights as well as the responsibilities of our children.
December is the month of joy and festivities. As it draws closer, so are the children’s expectations. Big plans including family home decorations, X’mas parties, picnics, beach outings, church celebrations are also underway in the village.
Of a total roll of 363 children registered with the Nursery, 16 are SOS Children from the children’s village, 10 boys and 6 girls. A total of 110 children took the Class One Entrance Examination. There were 103 passes all of whom started their (primary) Class I education at the SOS International School in September when the new school year commenced.
The nursery is a beehive of activities; the annual thanksgiving was as colorful as ever with children smartly dressed in their school uniforms with educators and parents marching side by side the children. The annual sports meet was more of a carnival than a competitive event. It was music and dancing all through. The graduation ceremony was one of its kinds in many years. It was also very colorful. It was a sight to see little children in full ceremonial graduate gowns receiving awards and certificates. 9 Lessons and Carols, Xmas party and variety shows were all part of the activities planned for the end of the year.
SOS Home for the physically challenged
The Home continues to provide love, warmth and care for its children. It currently houses 26 children and youth of whom 13 are boys and 13 are girls. The home scored 75% school passes at the end of the school year. Visits to the home from biological relations are encouraged too.
Regular physio-therapies are provided for the children in order to meet their physical rehabilitation needs. Orthopedic services are also provided for the children to especially aid mobility.
The children also enjoy joint activities including games with the local community. 12 of them are members of the Rehoboth Kids Movement; together they participate in quizzes, celebrate birthdays, and undertake family outings and religious camp meetings. Plans for Christmas at the home are enormous, home decorations, religious camp meetings, visits to friends and relations, beach parties and caroling are all part of the package for the end of the year. What a hectic programme for the home as the year draws to a close.
Family Strengthening Programme
515 children and 128 caregivers were registered with the programme at the beginning of the year. 21 families were however exited from the programme at the end of the second quarter. In line with the new policy of 0-17 years for beneficiaries, a verification exercise was carried out on all 127 families to determine the exact number of beneficiaries that fall within the prescribed age bracket. 413 children qualified as per new policy age guideline and new recruitments were done.
Quarterly food support was provided for 86 families with 37 children receiving clothing support and 296 others receiving birth certificates. 19 care givers received IGA loans with 5 others receiving second IGA loans to improve on their existing businesses. 16 other caregivers received micro credit loans from Live Above Poverty Organization (LAPO). 143 children received education support. 18 youth graduated in tailoring and 9 others in hairdressing. 5 graduating youth each received start-up-kits in tailoring and hairdressing. 32 caregivers completed retraining in adult literacy and basic business management. A total of 35 children of the programme now attend the SOS International School in Freetown on a 50% school fees reduction for improved quality education.
The School continues to score high academic successes at both internal and external examinations. At the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, the school was ranked first in the country with 49 candidates all obtaining 5 credits and above. 2 candidates from the school came second nationally. In the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), the school emerged the best fifth school in the country with all 62 candidates obtaining 5 credits and above. Equally in National Primary School Examination (NPSE), the school was ranked first in the Western Area and second nationwide. With such remarkable academic achievements in the year, the school plans a grand Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony by the close of the year.
Major activities carried out during the reporting period included the Annual Inter House Sports Meeting, Thanksgiving Service, excursions to historical places and an outing to Lakka Beach for all public examination classes.
We want to thank you so much for your moral and financial support as all of the above would not have been possible without you. We also want to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous new year, 2012. I remain with kind regards.
SOS Children's Village Freetown